Giving Back,  Personal,  Photography

Why I Relay for Life 2011

Last year, I blogged this post about why I Relay for Life in memory of my beloved Aunty Lorraine who lost her battle with Cancer. http://christinehopaluk.com/blog/2010/04/26/why-i-relay-for-life/

She is missed deeply by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was a courageous, vivacious, and amazing woman.

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Last year, I participated in the Leduc Relay for Life as part of “Team Hope” (a fun bunch of passionate women dressed in pink and feather boas), as well as a photographer for the event.  http://christinehopaluk.com/blog/2010/06/07/leduc-relay-for-life-2010/

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Team Hope is kicking some cancer butt once again! On June 3rd, 2011 in Leduc, AB., we are once again Relaying for Life. I am also honoured to photograph this year’s relay as well. I can’t begin to describe the experience that is the Relay for Life.  It’s an event full of Respect, Love, Support, and most importantly Hope.  Starting at 7:00 p.m., our team will walk, run, dance the walking track for the 12-hour overnight event until 7:00 a.m, along with a host of other teams and survivors. At all times someone from our team will be walking the track, which is why it is called a Relay.

The first Relay for Life event happened in 1999, and since then teams have been unifying friends and families to come together at the Relay for Life events across Canada to not only raise funds, but in…

Celebration of Survivors,

Remembering those Lost,

and Fighting Back to Find a CURE.

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It’s incredibly humbling and touching to walk past the thousands of lit luminaries that mark the relay route. Each luminary represents a special loved one who is presently fighting, has won the fight, or has lost the fight to cancer.

When you look at the photograph below, please remember that each one of these illuminated bags represents a FIGHTER.

These Luminaries represent a….

Grandma

Grandpa

Mother

Father

Sister

Brother

Friend

Husband

Wife

Child.

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I have to tell you friends, that I have one more incredibly close-to-my-heart reasons to Relay for Life because of the events that transpired within my family last year…incidentally, just a few weeks after the 2010 Leduc Relay for Life.

My Father, Ralph Dicke, was diagnosed with Prostate cancer by the end of the summer last year just weeks after I took the picture below.

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I remember the exact moment when I learned of his diagnosis.  I was editing a photo of a Father cuddling his children when my Mom phoned with the devastating news.  All I could think was “Please God, not my Father.”

My Dad decided after much deliberation to undergo surgery as a treatment, and in December he went in for the surgery.  My Dad, Sister, and I took the photo below the night before his surgery.  He’s sporting his “Movember” moustache.  He did amazingly well through the surgery, and was so strong throughout the recovery period.  We were very optimistic that after removing the prostate he would be cancer-free.

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Over the past month after more tests, he was told that he will require more treatment, as his levels have risen…an indicator that the cancer is still there. This month he will be visiting the Cross Cancer Institute to meet with the specialists to discuss and plan a course of treatment to fight the residual cancer.

When I see all that my father has had to endure these past few months, it leaves me feeling helpless and so full of anger.  I want to fight back.

The Relay for Life event allows me, you, anyone to fight back by raising funds and awareness.  I know there are so many worthy organizations and causes out there in desperate need of funds to continue research and support.  However, I believe one would be hard-pressed to find a person today that has NOT been affected by cancer in some way. It’s devastating to say the least.

I took this screen shot from the Canadian Cancer Society’s Website. The general cancer statistics are cause for great concern. Another reason to join the fight to end cancer.

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THIS is why I Relay for Life.  When you pledge your support at the Relay for Life, this is where your money goes.

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What can YOU do to help

? One way you can help join the fight is to support me by making a donation. This cause is an important one, and we can truly make a difference together. You can be part of a community that takes up the fight. I am humbly asking for donations of whatever you can find it in your heart to give to help make cancer history.

Online pledging is secure and it saves the Society money by reducing administrative costs – it means the money you give can go further to help the fight against cancer.

Simply click the link below to go to my personal page to make a donation.

PLEDGE CHRISTINE HOPALUK

Celebrate.

Remember.

Fight Back.

On behalf of my father, and my entire family, we thank you so much for your support.

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I truly appreciate it!

From my heart to yours,

Christine

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